Its been a whirlwind month and a half back at work and we are still going full speed ahead. We are so shorthanded, its hard to get any breathing room! This blog will be long, so bear with me!
One thing I've noticed is that children respond very well to praise for positive behavior. I've taken to asking for a volunteer every morning to check the bus for sleeping children and making sure everyone is awake and gets off the bus. This is usually at the elementary school, and most of those kids LOVE to get picked to do a job. I also make it a point to thank them and point them out to the teacher on duty so that they may get some public praise. They soak it up!
Parents are also out in full force. Just today, I had two separate parents tell me how they don't understand why the bus goes two different directions. Unfortunately, this particular bus does not have a regular consistent driver and is at the mercy of substitutes. One parent wants the bus to do it one way, the other parent can't seem to be satisfied no matter what we do. Listen people, if you have a problem with the bus, get in your fancy schmancy little car and drive your happy little butt to the school, wait in line with all the other picky parents and drop off/pick up your own darn child from school. Trust me, we really don't mind that your child won't be riding the bus as your child is probably just as a pain in the butt as you are!
In other parent news, last year, I wrote about a parent who rolled his eyes at me. Well this parent is also back in full force. All last year whenever I drove that bus, he would stand with his arms crossed and his face all red from being mad at me and the bus. I'm not the only driver who experiences his anger either. Another driver told him to get his daughter (high school age) a car, and let HER drive. I wish I had been on the bus that day! Anyhow, I've had the lovely experience of driving that route twice in the last two weeks. The regular bus driver had a field trip both times and was unavailable to drive the bus.
The first time I drove, I ended up getting caught at the railroad tracks for about 10 minutes. It put me behind going to the high school to pick up the final load of children and of course, naturally, made HIS children LATE. Apparently, he called the bus shop, and cussed out the secretaries at the shop for the bus being late with HIS children. I received a call over the CB radio telling me to avoid any interaction with him and to refer him to the big bossman. I had no idea that he had used vile language with the secretaries. He tried to get my attention that day, but I simply ignored him. Unfortunately, due to the train, AND the fact that I do not drive as fast as the regular driver, his children were about 15-20 minutes late. I think they usually get dropped around 3:55-4 pm, where I dropped them about 4:15 that day.
Earlier this week, I drove that bus again and was not held up by a train this time, but had a child who face planted in the aisle (that's another blog!) I wasn't even held up by much anything except children getting off the bus. I still managed to get HIS children home between 4:05 and 4:07. He was as mad as ever. He came to the drivers side window and asked me when I'd be driving the bus again. I told him I didn't know. He then told me that I should call him when I'm driving, because HIS children WON'T be riding when I drive because I'm ALWAYS late. Yep, its MY responsibility to let him know and its MY fault I'm late?!?! Wonderful. I have no intentions of telling him anything and he can take it up with my bossman.
On a lighter note, the following exchange happened between two boys on the bus this afternoon:
Boy1 to Boy2: Let's play Rock, Paper, Scissors!
Boy1: Ready? Rock, Paper, Scissors!
Boy2: What's that? (staring at Boy1's hand)
Boy1: A tornado!!!! (makes whirling motion with his hand in the shape of a tornado)
Tornado's beat everything!
The Bus Driver